Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island & North Canterbury for April 20 2023

  • Central South Island North Canterbury
  • 20/04/2023

Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island & North Canterbury for April 20 2023


Hydro Canal Fishing Success in the School Holidays

The early teenager catches the big brown trout when it comes to fishing the canals.

Fourteen-year-old Bodhi Munro caught his biggest fish ever after a 4:30 am arrival at his dad’s Spot X on the Mackenzie hydro canals – who said teenagers need to sleep in?

Bodhi caught his 16.8-pound brown trout on a 7-gram crusader lure with an inline hook.  

Bohdi’s dad Justin reported that it was caught at 5.30 am, hooked just 5 metres from the bank and took 15 minutes to land using a 10-pound braid mainline with an 8-pound leader. 

Above Right: Bohdi Munro struggles under the weight of his biggest catch ever - a 16.8-pound brown from the Mackenzie hydro canals - photo by Justin Munro

Justin identifies Bohdi’s kahawai fishing experience as giving Bohdi the skills to stay patient and play it perfectly during the epic battle. 

Justin said that they usually put back fish of such size, but this one is destined to be smoked and shared with whānau.

Bohdi hooked up 3 casts later and successfully landed a 5-pound rainbow – this fish was released; after all, it was too early in the day to reach his bag limit!

Bohdi is not the only teenager out fishing these school holidays.

Wenbo Fan caught his first-ever trout at the canals during the school holidays

Wenbo Fan (15), of Christchurch, is a relative newcomer to fishing and has been on a family trip through the lower South Island for the school holidays.

He’s been casting soft baits at every chance along the way and caught his first-ever trout, a 2-pound brown, last week at the Pūkaki Canal intake (pictured left).  

If you are looking for a map and a few tips on fishing the canals then please check out our Hydro Canal fishery brochure here.

Catch and Release tips

Catch and release is becoming popular at all our fisheries, especially at the canals during the trout spawning period.

Here are our ‘Quick 5’ tips for handling fish with care: 

  • Cool your hands and landing net by wetting them before touching the fish.
  • Keep the fish in the water while removing the hook.
  • Do not squeeze the fish, and never touch the gills.
  • Photograph the fish in or over the water, and make it quick - the fish should not be out of the water for more than 5 seconds.
  • Revive the fish facing into the current long enough for it to regain its swimming strength.

For those anglers that have no intent to harvest a fish to eat, please consider de-barbing your hooks to make de-hooking the fish easier. It’s easy to de-barb your hook by clamping the barb with a pair of thin-nosed pliers or forceps.  

Outlook for the weekend

The Opihi River at State Highway one - discoloured but clearing at 47 cumecs flow

With just ten days of the main season to go, you better get out there to your favourite spots while you can. 

There is a bit more time than usual for fishing in the near future with ANZAC Public holiday on Tuesday the 25th and many folks taking Monday the 24th off work to make it a 4-day weekend.   

Recent rain has kept river flows topped up; there is more rain forecast tomorrow (Friday 20th).

Although the weekend’s weather is looking mostly settled and dry, I recommend reviewing river flows on the ECan website before going fishing, as a few rivers are high and discoloured currently.  

On Wednesday afternoon, the Opihi River at the State Highway 1 Bridge was flowing at 47 cumecs and was discoloured – it little more clarity would have made it good for worm/bait fishing, but it was a long way off being sight-fishable. 

A short distance down the road, the Temuka River at Manse Bridge was flowing at 7 cumecs and was sight fishable and holding just enough ‘colour’ for good spin fishing but was probably a bit too clear for productive worm/bait fishing. 

Return your sea-run salmon season bag card 

The sea-run salmon season closes on 30 April, so there are just 10 days left of the 2022/23 sea-run salmon fishing season.    

You have until May 7th to return your 2022/23 sea-run salmon season bag card. 

If you have no intention of going sea-run salmon fishing in the next 10 days or have already achieved your season bag limit, then we encourage you to return your season bag card asap. 

It’s super easy to complete your card return via the online return form here

If you prefer to post or drop off the card, information is printed on the card to assist you. 

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer


Dwayne Aberhart with his 13-pounder from the Coleridge lakes.

Monster Trout from the Canterbury High Country

Dwayne Aberhart entered this photo of him holding a 13-pound brown he caught from the Coleridge Lakes.

This season Dwayne says he's had some excellent results from the North Canterbury High Country with plenty of seven and eight-pound fish caught. 

The Coleridge lakes often hold surprising numbers of decent-sized fish ready to challenge anglers.

These fish take some time to grow as big as Dwayne's one above due to the cold waters up there, so Dwayne definitely did everything right to tempt this monster on his line.

Dwayne entered the photo in this month's Fishing Licence Photo Competition, which offers big prizes and some serious bragging rights amongst your family and mates.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, Kilwell Sports, you have the chance to not only win a $500 Kilwell Sports Voucher as a monthly winner.

But to have your winning photo enter the grand final draw to appear on next year's fishing licence AND win the grand prize worth $2000.

April photo entries are open now – click here to enter and view all of the current entries.

ANZAC Weekend outlook

Many people are taking next Monday off and making a long holiday weekend out of the ANZAC Day Commemorations on Tuesday.

Sunday is looking like a good day for fishing after a bit of rain on Saturday.

ANZAC Day is a time for remembering the sacrifices made by our service people over the years, especially since the mid-'90s when Kiwis have been deployed around the globe.

If you have any ex-service people in your family you may want to alert them to the Soldiers Sailors and Aviators Association of New Zealand, a group set up for getting ex-service members back out into the outdoors fishing and hunting.

They offer all sorts of advice, help and organised trips and training; connect with them via the Facebook link above.

They have some introductory fly fishing courses coming up in October and December in Canterbury.

James Simons sent in this picture of his son Eddie (aged 4); Eddie caught his first ever rainbow trout at Lake Lyndon over the Easter weekend on a Xmas tree tazzy devil.

Eddie was over the moon happy with his catch which was smoked and enjoyed by the whole family. 

Rangers Competition

Our annual Rangers Competition is on rain or shine tomorrow at the Kairaki beach on the North Side of the Waimakariri River, click here for more info.

My colleague Emily Craig has sourced some fantastic prizes from our generous sponsors for the event, with the spot prize pool now up to $3000 in value from Hunting & Fishing Tower Junction & North Canterbury, Kilwell, Desolve Supply Co, Hunters Element, Stoney Creek, and Amazing Baits.  

The competition is more of an opportunity for anglers to come together, catch up with old friends and create new friendships, enjoy a sausage from the BBQ, and celebrate the great opportunities we have to go fishing in the region.

We often get asked how can you support a competition when the salmon fishery is under stress?

The Season Bag limit means anglers can only keep two salmon for the season; therefore, as harvest is reduced, enabling more fish to return to the spawning streams, the pressure on the fishery is thereby reduced, and all the competitions permitted by Fish & Game have to follow the regulations for the salmon fishery.

However, this has meant competitions like the Rakaia Salmon Competition and the Salmon Anglers Competition probably had fewer entries than in the past because anglers had already reached their season bag limit and, therefore, couldn't participate.

And that's also why, even though it's called the Rangers Competition, tomorrow is more about a celebration of the fishery and a chance for the Rangers to say thanks to the anglers for their support during the summer.


Anglers notice consultation

Two weeks ago, we invited anglers to make submissions on our angling regulations. 

We have created a page here with the proposed changes and additional detail

Anglers, licence holders and members of the public have till 5 pm 21 April 2023 to send in feedback and make submissions on the above items or any other points they might want to raise in relation to Schedule 2 of the Anglers Notice (which pertains to the angling regulations in the North Canterbury region). 

Anglers can make their submission via email here. 

North Canterbury Fish and Game will hold a public discussion night at 6 pm on April 27 for submitters to discuss their submissions with staff and answer questions from the wider public. 

Office Closed Monday, April 24

Due to a combination of Staff on leave and fieldwork, the Office will be closed on Monday, April 24 and reopen Wednesday, April 26.

If you have any recent photos of your fishing exploits or events you want to publicise, send them to northcanterbury@fishandgame.org.nz ; even if they aren’t from our region, I’ll pass them on.     

Tight Lines,   

Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer

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